‘Next year our season illuminates stories and artists, firing the imaginations of our audience, both in Melbourne and beyond. We present some of the finest storytelling imaginable across more than 550 performances on our stages to entertain, challenge and delight you. This season sees MTC collaborate with a range of thrilling artists and companies ensuring a vibrant and dynamic year of theatre,’ Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said.

‘We want to make theatre accessible to everyone so this season we’re presenting a family show for primary aged children; our first choreographic theatre collaboration; and we’re expanding activities outside our mainstage season with exciting new firsts,’ Brett Sheehy said.

MTC’s Season 2014 features eleven mainstage plays, two add-on productions, and two education shows. This includes five world premiere productions (The Sublime, The Speechmaker, Pennsylvania Avenue, Complexity of Belonging, and education show, Marlin) and three Australian premieres (Cock, Once, I’ll Eat You Last) from the UK and US. Classic works are revisited including Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross and Noël Coward’s Private Lives. MTC’s Season 2014 also features recent works from award-winning playwrights: John Logan’s I’ll Eat You Last, and Lally Katz’s Neighbourhood Watch.

A host of high profile actors grace MTC’s stages in 2014 including Miriam Margolyes, Sigrid Thornton, Robyn Nevin, Lucy Durack, Bernadette Robinson, Zahra Newman, Philip Quast, Alex Dimitriades and Richard Piper; and award-winning directors including John Tiffany, Gale Edwards, Alkinos Tsilimidos, Simon Stone, MTC’s Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong and Associate Director Leticia Cáceres. For the first time Missy Higgins composes original music for MTC’s stage.

Building on the critical success of the pioneering NEON Festival of Independent Theatre, MTC has announced the five Melbourne-based independent companies participating in 2014: Angus Cerini/Doubletap; Antechamber Productions & Daniel Keene; Arthur; Little Ones Theatre; and Sans Hotel.

‘Through our NEON Festival, we’re building greater connectivity with Melbourne’s thriving independent theatre scene. In 2013 we welcomed nearly 60% new MTC theatregoers through the doors of Southbank Theatre during NEON. We hope audiences will again be delighted by the imagination, inventiveness and diversity on offer from these five new companies in 2014. This year we’re expanding our NEON Extra program with NEON UP LATE, a series of informal late night play readings curated and presented by MKA: Theatre of New Writing,’ Brett Sheehy said.

With the support of the Cybec Foundation, MTC presents Cybec Electric, a new showcase of work from five playwrights in a series of semi-staged readings at Southbank Theatre. Playwrights Jane Harrison, S. Shakthidharan, Sue Smith, Declan Greene and Kylie Trounson offer compelling new visions of the world, and with scripts in hand some of our best actors and directors will bring these plays to life on the Lawler stage. ‘MTC is committed to developing new playwrights to ensure a rich and diverse vein of writing continues for the next generation of theatregoers. Through our new initiatives and with the support of our Literary Director Chris Mead, their voices will grow and develop into the esteemed playwrights of our future,’ Brett Sheehy said.

‘I’m delighted to announce that we’re increasing our Artist Access initiatives through our new Women Directors’ Program from late 2013, addressing the under-representation of women directors on Australian mainstages. This program provides training and mentorship to emerging and mid-career artists. We’re also introducing Lightning Talks to encourage greater awareness and engagement with directors, designers and companies’ work, bringing them onto MTC’s radar. We’re working with Multicultural Arts Victoria to encourage theatre-goers from a diverse range of backgrounds,’ Brett Sheehy said. Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong opens MTC’s 2014 mainstage season with Noël Coward’s delightful comedy of manners, Private Lives. This witty tale about love, lust and marriage stars recent Helpmann Award-winner Lucy Durack (Wicked, Legally Blonde) alongside Leon Ford, Julie Forsyth and John Leary.

MTC Associate Director Leticia Cáceres explores sexuality and indecision in the Australian premiere of Cock by one of Britain’s most exciting young playwrights, Mike Bartlett.

Robyn Nevin stars in Belvoir’s critically acclaimed production of Lally Katz’s Neighbourhood Watch presented for the first time in Melbourne, directed by Simon Stone.

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